BGR Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe

Energy Study 2016. Reserves, Resources and Availability of Energy Resources - Summary

The internationally binding Paris Climate Treaty came into force in November 2016, and will have significant consequences for global energy production. With its ongoing energy transition "Energiewende", Germany started the conversion of its domestic energy supplies several years ago. The energy transition is vital if the objectives formulated in the Paris treaty are to be achieved. This implies both expanding the use of renewable energies to become a key energy resource as well as implementing additional accompanying measures.

The conversion of energy systems, as well as the search for material substitutes for fossil energy resources, is a complex and lengthy process. Developing storage systems, boosting energy efficiency, and adapting power grids, are just a few of the measures required to solve the challenges ahead. At a global scale, this means that the energy mix will only change very gradually and significant shifts in the proportions of different types of energy resources are going to take decades rather than years. Experience gained in Germany – for example with the conversion of the energy infrastructure – also underlines the long periods of time involved in the transformation process, even in the favourable light of the social consensus which has already been reached on the issue of the future orientation of the country's energy policy. The dependency on fossil fuels built up over many decades is too entrenched to be resolved within only a few years.

The reliable and economical provision of primary energy builds the foundation for our prosperity, and is essential for the development of functioning economies. The global population will continue to grow in the coming decades, and therefore increase the demand for primary energy when compared to today. In the light of these challenges, supplying the world with energy will also continue to involve the provision of fossil fuels. This is why fossil energy resources will still be indispensable in global energy production in the foreseeable future – even if the proportions decline and greater efficiencies are achieved – to enable the expansion of renewable energy, and to implement the change in the energy mix without causing any disruptions.

The Energy Study 2016 provides facts and figures on the availability and development of all energy resources, i.e. crude oil, natural gas, coal, uranium and renewable energy, including deep geothermal energy. The "Energy resources in focus" section looks in more detail at the following topics: "The crude oil and natural gas potential of countries around the Horn of Africa", "Shale oil and shale gas in Germany – resources and environmental aspects", and "Underground energy storages for the energy transition".

Download: Energy Study 2016. Reserves, Resources and Availability of Energy Resources (PDF, 27 MB)



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